To Horace Mann
I am trying to set up the noble game of bilboquet8 against it, and composing a grammar in opposition to Mr. Hoyle's9. You will some day or other see an advertisement in the papers, to tell you where it may be bought, and that ladies may be waited upon by the author at their houses, to receive any further directions. I am really ashamed to send this scantling of paper by the post, over so many seas and mountains: it seems as impertinent as the commission which Prior gave to the winds,
Lybs must fly south, and Eurus east, For jewels for her neck and breast10.
Indeed, one would take you for my Chloe, when one looks on this modicum of gilt paper, which resembles a Mlet-doux more than a letter to a minister. But you must take it as the widow's mite, and since the death of my spouse, poor Mr. News, I cannot afford such large doles as formerly. Adieu! my dear child, I am yours ever, from a quire of the largest foolscap to a vessel of the smallest gilt.
114. To HORACE MANN.
Arlington Street, April 14, 1743.
THIS has been a noble week; I have received three letters at once from you. I am ashamed when I reflect on the poverty of my own! but what can one do ? I don't sell you my news, and therefore should not be excusable to invent. I wish we don't grow to have more news! Our politics, which have not always been the most in earnest, now begin to take a very serious turn. Our army is wading over the Ehine, up to their middles in snow. I hope . . .* they will be thawed before their return: but they have gone through excessive hardships. The King sends six thousand more of
8 Cup and Tnall. » Edmond Hoyle (1672-1769), the writer on wMst.
10 Prior, M&rcury and Cupid. LETTER 114.—* Passage omitted.